La Défense wants to make room for plants on the slab

A slab, towers, concrete. When we talk about La Défense (Hauts-de-Seine), it is the first images that come to mind. However, for the past ten years, the business district has been trying to change its gray and mineral image. Today, green spaces represent 11 hectares, or nearly 35% of the pedestrian zones of the district of ‘business. A percentage which should increase in the coming years.

“Until now it was a bit of a minimum service,” concedes Thomas Ledoux, marketing director at his own public planning establishment. Paris La Defense. The neighborhood, built over the years 1960 on a slab, left little room for plants and above all responded to the need to move easily by car.

The green spaces were then limited to a pleasure garden and a row of plane trees. Today the district has 2. 900 trees, three shared gardens and seven parks including Diderot Park with an area of ​​12. 000 m2.

Reasoned management Facilities recent developments have made it possible to increase the presence of green spaces in the territory of La Défense. The creation of the Nanterre terraces, for example, to the west of the Arch. Or again that of the garden of the Place Basse, along the esplanade, which required the removal of slabs to install a lawn instead.

But it is not only a question of create more green spaces, they must also be more virtuous. “Before, we also used flowering or horticultural plants, sometimes genetically modified. They served an aesthetic purpose but were not adapted to the neighborhood environment, ”explains Elodie Gueyton, co-responsible for the technical department at Paris La Défense.

From now on, the trees and plants chosen are endemic species, native to the Paris basin, which promote the development of biodiversity.

Shared gardens Paris la Défense is also trying to include more users and residents of the neighborhood in the management of these species, in particular through shared gardens. The members cultivate different species in these gardens and then participate in the harvest of fruits and vegetables which are planted there.

In the coming years, several development projects will participate in a greater revegetation of the area. Business District. First of all, the Park, which aims to transform 7 hectares of the Esplanade de la Défense into a vast green space. The development of the Groues eco-district also plans to leave a large place for plants. Finally, the old road interchange in the Rose district of Cherbourg will be transformed into a promenade plantée.

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